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Friday
Nov112011

$1.4 MILLION PER PAGE: How Ireland Paid Merrill Lynch For "Advice" That Bankrupted A Nation

Ireland's Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan learned banking and finance at the kitchen table, two days after Lehman failed.  All he knew when he first sat down was that Alan Greenspan was God.

The incompetence of central bankers and finance ministers over the past few years has been breath-taking, but Ireland's Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, takes the golden biscuit for sheer ineptitude. 

From David McWilliams' recent book, Follow The Money: The Tale of the Merchant of Ennis, we learn that Lenihan, a lawyer by training, received his first lessons in banking and finance at McWilliams' kitchen table - on the 17th of September 2008.  

Before that, McWilliams tells us, Lenihan had learned everything he knew about finance from a biography of Alan Greenspan(!) that he had picked up over the summer.  We learn that Lenihan had no idea that Irish banks were in trouble until after the failure of Lehman Brothers just two days before.

Less than two weeks after that late-night cram session at McWilliams' kitchen table, Ireland announced to the world that it would fully guarantee its banks liabilities -- for both depositors and bondholders. 

We now know that this hasty decision would lead to national bankruptcy and the specter of sovereign default.  But at the time, Lenihan -- not unlike a number of other clueless politicians scattered throughout the formerly industrialized world -- was only following the advice being offered by the "experts" who surrounded him.  Shockingly, among those "experts" were none other than a team of advisors from Merrill Lynch.

Turns out that a week after the Finance Minister's introduction to basic finance, the Irish government paid Merrill Lynch $10M for a seven-page report that told them:

  • "All of the Irish banks are profitable and well capitalised.” 

No wonder Irish eyes are crying - what was billed as a costless way to avoid a banking panic ended up bankrupting the nation.

---

Here's more detail:

The strange case of the disappearing Merrill Lynch research note

Source - UK Guardian

US investment bank Merrill Lynch had a critical role in the banking collapse in Ireland and censored an analyst's report that predicted the crash back in 2008, it was claimed today.

The US bank retracted a report by one of its research analysts in March 2008 that was negative about the banks after the Irish banks called Merrill Lynch and threatened to take their business elsewhere. It toned the research note down and months later its author, Philip Ingram, left the bank, according to a much-anticipated cover-story in the new edition of Vanity Fair.

 

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Reader Comments (10)

Ireland bank collapse: the strange case of the disappearing Merrill Lynch research note

US investment bank Merrill Lynch had a critical role in the banking collapse in Ireland and censored an analyst's report that predicted the crash back in 2008, it was claimed today.

The US bank retracted a report by one of its research analysts in March 2008 that was negative about the banks after the Irish banks called Merrill Lynch and threatened to take their business elsewhere. It toned the research note down and months later its author, Philip Ingram, left the bank, according to a much-anticipated cover-story in the new edition of Vanity Fair.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-ocarroll/2011/feb/02/ireland-merrill-lynch-research-note-irish-banks
Feb 10, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The Government was warned of the potential cost of a blanket guarantee to the six main banks the day before it was introduced.

International consultants Merrill Lynch warned the Government that the guarantee could cost up to €500bn, which the State could not afford to cover if required.

However, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has defended the Government's decision to introduce the guarantee scheme in September 2008.

Documents published by the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee show the Government believed the risk to the taxpayer from its €440bn guarantee scheme would be offset by €500bn in assets held by the banks.

An email from Merrill Lynch on 29 September 2008 advised the Government to introduce a secured lending scheme for the banks, under which commercial property could be exchanged for Government bonds or cash.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0716/banks.html
Feb 10, 2011 at 9:13 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
What did they expect, Thain was sniffing anel gas at the time he was giving them advice.
Feb 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRTB
In the picture above:
You tube
The Money Masters

Oh that is a good one.
And spot on.
Feb 28, 2011 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorton
NOW the wizard of oz makes more sense!

More and a shorter one from the same guy
see above
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cq9yEVcGIU
Feb 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorton
I bet they thought it was a good deal... At the time.
Feb 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
In the late Mr. Lenihan's defence, he didn't really want the job and told Brian Cowen that unequivocally.

It's EXTREMELY bad form for David McWilliams to publish this book right now, only five months after Lenihan died of Cancer.
Nov 14, 2011 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeamus Enright
I'm no fan of the shower of gombeens that was Lenihan's political party, Fianna Fail. Actually, I'm no fan of any mainstream Irish political party, but that's beside the point. I'll say this much in his defence however. Lenihan was forced into the role of Finance Minister against his will, it was a poisoned chalice and he knew it.
Dec 20, 2011 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom Sullivan
Lenihan died of cancer? That is AWESOME! I sure as hell hope it was painful!

Disgusting scum cheer whenever some person is sent to prison or executed by the state.
But, maybe their alleged "crimes" were justified, or they believed so. They are merely a soldier
who fights for their beliefs.

So don't any subhuman politically correct piece of trash tell me that there is anything "wrong"
about cheering and celebrating when this worthless piece of garbage dies of cancer.
Dec 20, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Buys a Garbage Disposal
Most probably, the guys thought it to be a good deal!!
Feb 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterprosfores

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